To hold or to keep prospects

O-Cab signs with Oakland; Crosby still not worth it
Yanks sign pre-arb players

It’s behind the pay wall, but Matt Meyers of ESPN the Magazine has a nice write-up about the tetragon of infield prospects in the Angels system back in 2005. You probably recognize the names: Brandon Wood, Erik Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Kendry Morales. They were the next wave of the Los Angels Angels of Anaheim, a force that would power them, and keep them cheap, for years to come. That is, if all four worked out. As we’ve seen over the years, that is rarely the case.

The Angels now face a situation where two might be regulars this season, but might not be adequate. The most prominent of the group is Howie Kendrick, who holds a .306 major league batting average over the past three seasons. Problems are that 1) his high for plate appearances is 361, meaning he’s been hurt a good deal, 2) his career OBP is .333, meaning he’s not wont to take a walk, and 3) he doesn’t have a ton of pop.

Aybar got into 98 games at short last year and put up a .277/.314/.384 line. He’s mainly known for his defense, so if he can show a bit of improvement at the plate during his age 25 season, he could become a solid regular. He’ll be no Hanley Ramirez, of course, but the idea is that he’ll save enough runs with his glove to make up for some of his offensive shortcomings. The shortstop job looks like his to lose this spring.

The other two, however, don’t look as promising. Brandon Wood has seen time in 68 major league games, racking up 157 plate appearances and striking out in 55 of them. I know we’ve discussed the overvaluation of strikeouts by some fans, but when it comes along with a .212 OBP, it’s never good. He is only 24, though, and he had a solid year in AAA — but that’s in the Pacific Coast League. You know, the one in which Bubba Crosby slugged .635 in 2003. Same goes for Morales, who slugged .543 in the PCL last season. He did have a somewhat successful stint with the Angels in 2007, though.

The Yankees face a similar issue right now, though theirs is with pitching. The troika of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy has been touted much like the Angels’ crew of prospects. They’re the ones who were supposed to bring in a new generation. Instead, both groups are falling victim to the reality that even can’t-miss prospects can miss.

I have mixed feeling of Meyers’s concluding sentence: “However, this is looking more like a cautionary tale of what happens when you overvalue your own talent, and hold onto it too long.” The process is a bit more complex than simply overvaluing talent on hand. It’s difficult to ascertain who will cut it in the majors and who will bust. General managers have to make that call, and clearly it’s not always the right one. That doesn’t mean that it’s always them overvaluing their talent on hand.

Another Meyers line I take issue with: “This problem has been compounded by the fact that all four of them were once heavily coveted in trade talks, and the Angels refused to part with any of them.” Again, I don’t think this is necessarily a case of overvaluing your own prospects. The Angels had a plan and they stuck to it. Perhaps there were flaws in the process, but that doesn’t mean that there were flaws in the evaluation of their own talent. The problem is that he doesn’t go into any of the trade proposals. You can only make decisions based on the information you have at the time, and at the time these supposed trade opportunities came and went, the Angels still had four top-flight infield prospects. They weren’t going to move them for just anyone, nor should they have.

It’s easy to talk about overvaluing prospects when you’re writing in hindsight. Player A was highly touted but busted? Blame it on management; they should have known their own players better. It’s never that simple, though. So many other factors have to come into consideration when evaluating a veteran for prospect trade that it’s impossible to get it right every time. As Meyer notes, some guys — he cites a great example in John Schuerholz — seem to have a knack for it. Even he has had his stumbles, though, thanks to the wonderfully unpredictable world of major league prospects.

O-Cab signs with Oakland; Crosby still not worth it
Yanks sign pre-arb players
  • pat

    I’ll take CC, his monster contract, phil hughes, ian kennedy, melky and a lesser prospect over a sore armed johan and his monster contract any day.

    • steve (different one)

      it is pretty amazing how quickly that entire argument can shift if Johan is seriously hurt.

      not saying he IS seriously hurt, or that he won’t be fine, just highlighting how difficult it is when dealing with pitchers’ arms.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Just for fun… Would you take (1) CC and his monster contract and Johan and his monster contract over (2) Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Melky, a lesser prospect and AJ and his monster contract?

      • Reggie C.

        Though Santana on this team wouldn’t have guaranteed us playoffs last season, i doubt we would’ve passed up the chance at landing CC Sabathia. It simply would’ve been too enticing. The AJ signing would’ve never happened. Yeah. I’d take (1). Having the 2 best lefties in baseball > 2 righties + a 4th OF + AJ (who i like).

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah. I shouldn’t have gone there, because the Johan stuff is just so old and over at this point. And, just btw, I was against the idea of a Johan trade to the Yanks. It’s just an interesting way to look at it, in retrospect. A lot of people seem to assume trading for Johan would have precluded the Yanks from signing CC, but that assumption isn’t necessarily true.

        • steve (different one)

          I’d take (1). Having the 2 best lefties in baseball > 2 righties + a 4th OF + AJ (who i like).

          well, they still have CC. really looks like this:

          Having the 2 best lefties in baseball > one of the best lefties in baseball + $60M-80M + 2 righties (to use or to trade) + a 4th OF (to use or to trade) + AJ

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            $60-80M? Try like, $250M over the next 7 years.

            • steve (different one)

              the $60-80M represents the difference between AJ’s $82M contract and Johan’s $140-160M contract (depending on the vesting of the 7th year)

              that is why it is on the right side of the equation.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              I think he meant just the difference between Johan’s contract and AJ’s contract.

      • steve (different one)

        AJ’s monster contract is still $60-80M less than Santana’s, so we’re not talking apples to apples.

        then you probably need to spend money to sign a #5 starter next year, b/c you don’t have Hughes. so that costs money.

        plus, we need to see what happens to Hughes. maybe he is moved for a bat next winter, and the overall equation is CC + AJ + bat vs. CC + Johan.

        tough call, and not one we can really make right now. especially with Johan out “indefinitely” with a sore elbow. that could also seriously alter the math….

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          All perfectly valid points. Like I said above, I was against the idea of the Johan trade at the time, and I’m the last person to look back at a decision made a year ago and start anointing winners and losers. I only brought it up because it’s a different way of looking at the issue. I really shouldn’t have said anything, it’s a stale discussion I’m sure none of us want to have again.

      • pat

        Tis a good question congressman. Very rich and compelling. If I had yankee money and a choice between johan and cc or cc and aj I’d go with the former. What I don’t know is, if cashmoney would do that. Basically the difference between johan and aj is 7 mil and 2 yr longer contract and all the youngins. I don’t think if we were paying johan we would have went as hard after cc, but then again Knowing very little is my specialty.

        • Mike Pop

          Your a gentleman..and a scholar.

          I take what we ggot now. No need to have two lefties with the 2 largest contracts ever for pitchers on your team. Yes, the reward is huge but if they fail it ruins the team badly. Plus I think Hughes will be at least a 3 in the MLB for a long time and will cost 1/3 the price of Johan. I still would be against that deal.

          • jllive

            Mad props for squeezing the word scholar and the misuse of your *you’re* into a sentence.

      • Bill

        I’d take option (1) assuming that we were able to sign both and bring in Teixeira. My guess though is that if we got Santana last year we probably wouldn’t have signed one of CC or Teixeira. Lets say we did get Johan, CC, and Teixeira, do we have enough to keep Pettitte as a 4th starter? That’s questionnable. If not Aceves is our 5th starter with pretty much no one behind him. Although having CC and Johan at the top of the rotation would be awesome especially with Wang and Joba also on the staff. Johan’s elbow problems do worry me now, but not more than Burnett’s general propensity for injuries, so yea I’d take Johan over Burnett, Hughes, Kennedy, and Melky.

        • steve (different one)

          My guess though is that if we got Santana last year we probably wouldn’t have signed one of CC or Teixeira.

          another reasonable point, b/c people seem to be treating Johan and AJ’s contract as equal, when there is a pretty large difference.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Therein lies the problem with this type of discussion – there are too many other moving parts. So many other moves/transactions occur that are related to the Johan negotiations and the CC contract and every other signing/trade. All those things could go any number of ways.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              PS: Just to clarify, the “other moving parts” problem cuts both ways… Nobody knows if the Yanks would have signed CC and Tex if they had acquired Johan, nobody knows that they wouldn’t have. So, whatevs, we’re all talking about nothing, basically. lol

              • steve (different one)

                very true.

                • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  PPS: That was a point I should have made clear in my original comment, that was really the point (i.e. don’t assume any other moves would have or wouldn’t have happened as a reaction to any hypothetical Johan deal).

    • pat

      Heh yea I was just joking, hence the basement reference, hentai, run-on sentence etc. My stupid sarcasm doesn’t go over too well on the internets, my bad. Different steve isn’t a jerk.

      • pat

        This should be a few posts lower, oops.

  • steve (different one)

    the internet has spawned an entire generation of super brilliant armchair GMs blessed with 20-20 hindsight.

    • pat

      Actually jerk, most of us are sitting on dilapidated couches or beanbag chairs from the 80’s from when the basement was the family room before moving back home because we got fired from our computer programmer jobs forgetting caught looking at hentai one too many times at work.

      • steve (different one)

        hey, i count myself in there too.

        • Bo

          Calling him a “jerk” for pointing out the obvious doesn’t help your case.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Um, it was a joke. Lighten up, Francis.

  • Reggie C.

    Which is why the Yanks should’ve pulled the trigger on the Santana deal at the cost of Hughes & Kennedy.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Which is why the Yanks should’ve pulled the trigger on the Santana deal at the cost of Hughes & Kennedy.

      … and two unknown prospects; or Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and an unknown, low-level prospect. But don’t let facts get in the way, let’s just assume it was Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy that were discussed.

      • steve (different one)

        to be fair, i think Hughes + Kennedy could have been the main pieces in a deal. those other 2 prospects were probably not going to be AJax or Montero.

        what i tend to object to is when people suggest that a deal could have gotten done with JUST Kennedy as the main piece. the Yankees would probably have made that deal. over and over people come on here and say the Yankees should have done IPK + Melky for Johan, but that was NEVER on the table.

        what happened was that when the Yankees tried to ask about deals without Hughes, the Twins asked for Wang. which wasn’t happpening.

      • Reggie C.

        Wang wasn’t even in play till after Cash rejected the idea of trading both Hughes and Kennedy. Cash should’ve never rejected it. Hughes, Kennedy, Melky, + B prospect (marquez?) would’ve sealed it.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah… Says you. No offense, but that’s complete speculation.

          • Reggie C.

            Its all speculation ’cause nothing was ever consummated. To my knowledge, neither the Yanks or Twins have given straight answers as to who was discussed. This is the one hangup i’ve had with Cash.

            • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

              No, Brian Cashman came on WFAN in Spring Training of 2008 – with Mike and the Mad Dog – and directly said there were two deals on the table:

              1. Phil Hughes; Melky Cabrera; two unknown prospects.
              2. Chien-Ming Wang; Ian Kennedy; Melky Cabrera; Low-A prospect.

              • Reggie C.

                Then not pulling on (1) is on Cashman. At least Cashman recognized this entering the ’09 offseason.

                • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                  You can’t say that without the knowledge of who those two prospects were/are. What if it was Jose Tabata? Entering the 2008 season, I don’t think many rational minds would’ve been OK with dealing away two high-ceiling kids in Phil Hughes and Tabata for a declining, $137.5M Johan Santana.

          • steve (different one)

            maybe we should wait to see if Johan can even pitch this year before we declare victory.

            i have no problem saying it MAY have been a trade that should have been made.

            but it’s simply too early to say for sure either way.

            if CC + AJ pitch the Yankees to a WS this year? well, you’d be hard pressed to say this wasn’t the right path, no? what if Hughes and Kennedy are included in a trade for young stud position player? will they be better off overall in that scenario?

            the Yankees have what looks to be an incredible rotation this year. and they still have a bunch of valuable trade chips.

            why can’t we just be happy with that?

            • Bo

              Hughes and Kennedy will not win 1/5 of the games Santana will win the next 7 years.

              The yanks overvalued Hughes. it happens.

              • steve (different one)

                Hughes and Kennedy will not win 1/5 of the games Santana will win the next 7 years.

                can you also tell me who will win the next 7 World Series so i can place some bets?

                Johan Santana has been shut down “indefinitely” with elbow soreness.

                all it takes is one injury to completely change everything.

                that’s why it’s silly to speak in such absolutes.

              • MattG

                If you are talking about just about wins, Hughes and Kennedy combined will probably win the same amount of games as Santana over the next 7 years, at an incredible fraction of the salary. All they need to do is be in a rotation for that to happen, and despite their struggles at age 22 and 23, I see them both as major league starting pitchers.

                • steve (different one)

                  that is not to say that Bo didn’t have a point about “overvaluing” Hughes.

                  they probably did to some extent.

                  but at the same time, there WAS a 2 day period when Hughes was on the table for the Twins, but they wanted to keep the Yankees and the Sox in a bidding war which never really materialized for them.

                  tough to say for sure what happened at the winter meetings. a lot of crazy rumors were being reported.

              • Count Zero

                I’ll take that bet — straight up.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Yup, I’ll take that bet as well.

  • A.D.

    Have there actually been some big deals the Angels torpedoed because one or more of those guys were included… I don’t remember any, and sure fans don’t hear everything, but none of these are busts yet.

    Aybar & Kendrick can be solid up the middle. Wood & Morales have hardly gotten a full chance to show what they can do. Morales definitely should this year at 1B. On top of that Wood & Morales still have a fair amount of trade value, I’m sure they could be a centerpiece in a fairly big deal.

    That said this season, or latest next off season, is probably the time the Yanks need to move some of this pitching, the 40 man is getting clogged, and the upper part of the system might clog. Some of the pitching prospects will bust, or be moved to the pen, but some need to be shipped off for hitting prospects.

    • Reggie C.

      I like Brandon Wood. So he’ll likely never hit .280. But even if he’s a .260 hitter, i think Wood stays at SS and he’s a .500 slugger. He’ll have a solid season in ’09.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Beware the Cal League. Hitters who put up big numbers there will break your heart.

        • Reggie C.

          he’s got incredible bat speed, but yeah … he’ll go down looking alot. i see a JJ Hardy type player in Wood.

          • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

            JJ Hardy can play SS, like really well; Brandon Wood, not so much.

            • Reggie C.

              Wood fits the offensive minded SS category clearly, but he’s improved the D. Not sure if the Halos hampered his defensive progress by experimenting him at 3B, but Wood should be able to play out his prime at SS.

              • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

                He was 12 runs below average in Triple-A at the SS position last season. Prime years or not, he cant adequately handle the position anymore.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          What’s the deal with the PCL? What makes it such a hitter-friendly league?

          • Bo

            Why would you like Wood?

            Have you ever actually seen him play or you like him for just reading about how “great” he is the last 4 years?

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Careful with that “reply” button, I didn’t mention Wood.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Why would you like Wood?

              That’s what HE said!

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    The alternative to not placing value on the potential of prospects is becoming the mid-80’s or mid-00’s Yankees…..perennial bridesmaids who always get beat by a younger, hungrier team.

    You have to stick with youth, whenever possible. You’re going to get burned sometimes. That’s the breaks.

    • Phrancis

      Im wonderin can IPK get us Jarrod Saltymachy (whatever). Cos Jorge Posada’s arm is still hanging by a thread, he’ll be a perfect DH.

      • steve (different one)

        no, he can’t.

      • Bill

        IPK cannot get us Salty or any of the young Texas catchers. If we want to get one of those guys we’d probably have to dangle Hughes.

        Salty also isn’t very good behind the plate. He may not be much better than a noodle arm Posada.

        Teagarden is the guy to target if you’re looking at the Texas catchers. He’s got a good eye, solid power projections, and is above-average behind the plate.

        Max Ramirez I also like more than Salty because while his defense is less than stellar some scouts project it to improve enough to become average or even slightly above. I also like his bat just a little bit more than Salty’s.

        Still any of these three will likely cost us Hughes which obviously brings up serious questions of whether or not its worth it. I’d wait to see what Posada has left. If he can hang in there for another year or so we may not need anyone else.

        • A.D.

          The rule of IPK right now, if its IPK for someone you really want, the deal is no.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      I can’t speak for the mid-80’s squad, but the recent Yankees have lost because of their pitching staff, inappropriately timed offensive lapses, horrid defense, and Joe Torre. It was not because the team was full of veterans, because if they just had better players (veterans or non-arbitration eligible players), they would’ve won.

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I totally agree, but Jorge might have been making a point that goes hand in hand with yours, whether he knew it or not… Having some younger players on the roster might allow them more roster flexibility and, inherently, mean they are locked into fewer big contracts for declining, older players. It’s not really a different concept than most people around here preach, maybe just stated a bit less artfully.

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          You know, I’ve always wondered about that “roster flexibility” aspect. I mean, how much does it help the players by keeping them focus and hungry; and how much does it hurt them by having them constantly looking over their respective shoulder, and worrying if one play here or there might result in a loss of playing time?

          What’s your opinion? Which effect do you think takes priority over the other? Does it depend on the player(s)? If so, what determines it? The respective mental fortitude of said player(s)?

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I think about it less in the context of the psychological effects on players and more in the context of allowing the front office the ability to analyze the strengths/weaknesses of the team and act accordingly. I suppose there’s a psychological aspect involved as well, I didn’t mean to dismiss that angle. I guess, to answer your question, that, in my opinion, giving the front office the ability to put the best team on the field (as opposed to being locked into too many players such that the front office must sit on the sidelines and simply watch them play out the string, even if there are problems they’d like to remedy) outweighs the psychological aspect. I’m not even sure there’s a negative psychological aspect, I guess it depends on the particular players. For a lot of guys there’s probably a positive psychological aspect attached to being involved in a competitive atmosphere, and I’d be a little wary of a guy who withered under the pressure of having to win a job, I think.

            • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

              I wholeheartedly agree with that answer.

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              PS: Clearly I don’t mean every player on the team should be kept in a position where they’re constantly looking over their shoulders, I don’t mean to speak in absolutes. I just think, for example, that if you take a look at the Yankees bullpen situation and what they’ve done there in the last couple of years, you see an area in which having some roster flexibility and less money locked into veterans who are stuck, in effect, on the MLB roster, has clearly been a major benefit to the team. They are able to change on the fly and have the most effective bullpen possible at different times during the season and they’re also able to save some financial resources to be used elsewhere.

              • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                PPS (and then I’m done, I promise): To go back to the original point… I just meant that I think some people who say things like “ZOMG the yanksss need to be youngerrr and hungrier!!1onehundredeleven!” are on the right track. Maybe they’re not there for the right reasons, exactly, but they’re on the right track.

    • A.D.

      Well that’s true, but there’s a difference between smartly trading top prospects for other young pieces vs trading good young prospects for shitty overpaid vets or having no good prospects to really trade.

      What stud prospect did the 00 era Yanks trade? The issue was a shitty farm not trading away the farm

      • Bo

        You dont blindly stick with youth. Especially ones who dont have talent.

        Ask KC and Pittsburgh how thats going for them the past 2 decades.

        • steve (different one)

          agree with this.

          the point is to identify the guys you want to keep and trade the rest. in other words, keep the Jeters, trade the Ledees.

          what people are split on is that the Yankees think Hughes is a Jeter, but some people haven’t seen it with their own eyes yet and are not willing to wait for it.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          KC and Pittsburgh’s problem hasn’t been “blindly sticking with youth”.

          It’s been countless horrible drafts (where they went for safe, high-floor-low-ceiling guys instead of drafting impact players) coupled with an inability/unwillingness to buy guys out of college committments, along with mountains of pathetically atrocious free agent signings.

          If anything, they haven’t stuck with youth enough.

      • Tom Zig

        Shitty farm system….as in, drafting David Parrish in the first round in 2000?

  • andrew

    I’m sure we’d love to pull a Denny Green with our prospects and just be able to yell out, “They are who we thought they were!”
    Unfortunately, this is almost never the case with prospects

  • MattG

    I think you need to have two guiding philosophies in dealing with minor league chits:

    1. The Black Jack philosophy: figure out a way to marginally increase your odds of coming out ahead, and stick with the plan. Draft players with skills you identify as indicators of future success. Stick with them while the indicators are good. Also identify bad indicators, and be prepared to dump them if they start to show these. This might be baseball skills, weight, maturity, work ethic, or anything else. Ignore the names, and be cold blooded. I think Jose Tabata fell victim to this, and I think Cano and Wang benefited. You never allow one isolated failure to impact your philosophy–instead you evaluate this method by calculating your overall success, and re-analyzing your metrics.

    2. The day trader philosophy: In every deal, try and buy low and sell high. If you suspect you might be buying a player at his peak, this is a huge cause for concern. If you suspect the players you are trading are devalued because of any real or perceived notions, this too is a real problem. The Swisher deal is a textbook example of this in action. The Nady deal was the antithesis–Cashman bought a player at his peak, and sold a player at his chasm.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Joseph P. –

    Just for the record, what is the difference between “holding” prospects and “keeping” prospects?

  • mryankee

    I think its laughable to start calling Hughes or Kennedy busts. Whar constitutes a non bust is it either you dominate right away or your a bust? Is Homer Bailey a bust? is Clayton Kershaw a bust is Clay Bucholz a bust? and if Joba Chamberlain does not win the Cy Young award will he be a bust? I think the term perspective is something these eggheads dont have. Hughes was a 21 year old #2 starter and that was a mistake by management to put such a high burden on him and not ease him into the rotation a la what they are doing with Chamberlain. I also hear the terms monster contract what does this mean? any contract the Yankees sign a player to. I think anyone who doubts the signing of AJ Burnett probably did not watch many Yankee-Blue Jays games last year. I saw a dominant pitcher and I saw someone who could go into Yankee stadium or Fenway park and win games. In the end is that not the whole idea-and how come AJ Burnett is labeled injury prone and not Josh Beckett? One last question I have never sen Jesus Montero play is he at all a left field possibility in the future as Romine will probably catch and Tex is at first

  • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Bronx Baseball Daily

    I think it’s fair criticism of certain GM’s that they overvalue their prospects. But I think it’s better to overvalue them than to undervalue them. That comes back to bite you much harder.